Yesterday I accepted an invitation to go to New York next weekend for a Joomla bug squashing day (or as Wilco, the development workgroup coordinator puts it, “PBF”: Pizza Bugs and Fun).

This morning I booked my ticket.

This evening I’m terrified.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a developer-sized, Alpha Geek, Grade A Large ego. This invite sure feeds that ego. But the flip side is the “impostor syndrome”. I’ve been doing work that’s more “around” Joomla than “in” Joomla for about a year now, and I’ve seen the work that the core developers have done over that time, and it’s impressive. Too impressive.

It’s a truism that if you’re writing code and you aren’t learning new techniques all the time, you’re already obsolete — you just don’t know it yet. I’ve learnt a lot more from the Joomla 1.5 code in the past year than I have in a long time, and now I’m supposed to be capable at making a significant contribution to making it ready for release? That just sounds a little too implausible to me right now. Worse yet, Open Source Matters, the operating body behind the code is willing to spend real resources to get me down there to help out. In my book, that’s a big responsibility.

For some reason I always fall back to car analogies when describing the Joomla project. This time is no different. I feel like I’ve got at best a peripheral knowledge of the inner workings of the code. I’m down there, fiddling with one of the back tires of this Joomla race car thing, marvelling at the power it contains. While I’m tinkering, one of the chief mechanics, in an impossibly clean uniform but with deep grease stains on his hands say “hey, bud, want to come up here and help us fix this thing?”

Hell yeah I do — just as long as I don’t either break something stupid or wind up looking like a total putz in the process! So now I have just under a week to learn everything I can about this code and not make a fool of myself. Fun indeed.